Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Link Your Articles!

So why do I keep talking about standard reductions, such as contractions and reduced vowels?   Because this is the way to make room for those pesky word endings and articles.

Let's look at the article 'a'. This article can be linked to the word that comes before it. Helpful in respect that now you can end the word with a vowel sound. For example. You may say " Call a doctor." Now instead of having a final 'l' sound you can add the article 'a' and say "calla doctor." It is correct, you don't drop the article and you can avoid a final consonant. This is good because many languages do not use final consonant, all of their words end in vowels.  Many ESL speakers find final consonants challenging because of this.

Even if your first language does use final consonants it probably does not use final voiced consonants. So linking the article 'a' or the word 'to' to the end of your words will help you avoid needing to produce that final voiced sound. If you have read my previous post on final voiced consonants then you are savvy to the importance of voicing the final consonant. However linking one of these two articles releases you from this challenge.

You are probably aware that dropping articles causes incorrect grammar and additionally it can make you sound less fluent in English then you are. Not a good feature when trying to promote yourself at work. Try to link these articles to the previous word.

Write down a few sentences or pick some out of the newspaper. Draw a line linking the article to the word before it. Record yourself reading the sentence using the linking. I know the first few times you record yourself, it can be strange to listen to, but you need to get comfortable with it! Recording and self-monitoring are key to learning a new accent!

Lynn Founder of
Accent Master

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